The holiday season has come once again, and it’s time to decide what to buy for the comic fan in your life. Or possibly what to buy for yourselves. Either way, it’s going to come down to the same basic question: what does your friend or loved one like to read? Or what do you like to read?
Even in 2016, comics are still more widely known for their superheroes, although the men and women in capes and tights are just one of the subgenres that exist within it. Marvel and DC have dominated the industry for years with its superhero tales, and to be honest, we’re big fans of that as well. That’s why the superheroes are well represented on this year’s list.
But in more recent years, other mainstream publishers like Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Boom! Studios, and others have been more daring in terms of their subject matter. Now, it’s not unusual to see horror comics like The Walking Dead, or sci-fi titles like Saga burning up the sales charts, especially in collected editions. Of course, manga is also a form of comics, but we’re not covering those particular titles this year.
There are a few things to keep in mind when reading this list: graphic novels are just another name for comics, and comics are collected in various formats. The trade paperback is the most common and the least expensive format. The next step up are the hardcover editions, which can be more expensive. And finally, there are the Omnibus or Absolute editions, which are giant-sized hardcover comics that have huge page counts and even bigger price tags. Omnibuses also happen to be our favorite way to collect classic comics, but your mileage may vary.
We’ve narrowed this year’s selections to hardcovers and trades that were published or re-released this year. As with every online list, this compilation of titles is simply our opinion about the best comics you can buy. But we’re always looking for the next great comic, so if you feel that we’ve left something out, feel free to let us know in the comment section below!
2016 Comics Guide | The Best Graphic Novels for Comic Fans
Editor’s Note: All items subject to availability, all prices subject to change.